Spreading cheer, shedding pounds

Carl Robinette

Fri January 17, 2014 1:54pm

A few weeks ago that second slice of pumpkin pie or that just-one-more beer seemed so harmless. But today it’s 2014 and for some reason that button in the waistband doesn’t close as well as it did in October. And it is not because the pants shrank.
Almost half of Americans will make a New Year’s resolution for 2014, and weight loss is likely to be the most popular new goal, according to University of Scranton’s Journal of Clinical Psychology.
Packing on the holiday weight was easy and delicious, but losing it again is going to be easier said than done.
“Set realistic goals,” said Michael Meehan, a health professor at Southwestern College. “Begin slowly and increase exercise time as you progress.”
While the average person who is reasonably fit will only gain about one pound over the holidays, those who regularly struggle with weight gain often push that number up to seven new pounds, according to a report from the National Council on Strength and Fitness.
More than 90 million adults and children in the U.S. are believed to be clinically obese, and while Christmas dinner is not going to make the difference between health and obesity, a pattern of weight gain can lead to a 26 percent higher risk of death, a report from ResearchAmerica.org said.
 “Remember, if your goal is to lose weight, just get out and exercise,” said Meehan. “It really does not matter if the calories burned are from fat or carbohydrates. Calories expelled, proper food going in, correlates to weight loss. No big secret to weight loss: move, move, move,” he added.
On average only about 8 percent of resolutions are fulfilled, according to Scranton’s research. So to help you lose and stay healthy in 2014, we put together a list of tips from Professor Meehan so can keep that New Year’s resolution.